The Immune Tolerance Network (ITN), led by Benaroya Research Institute (BRI), with Gerald Nepom, MD, PhD, as network director, has made major breakthroughs in fighting peanut allergies. A landmark study called LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) demonstrated that regular peanut consumption begun in early infancy and continued until age five reduced the rate of peanut allergy in at-risk infants by 80 percent compared to non-peanut consumers. LEAP was the first large, well-controlled study to conclusively show the benefits of early peanut consumption in this at-risk population, changing previous notions about peanut allergy prevention. 

Now, in a follow-up study called LEAP-ON, researchers found peanut allergy prevention achieved from early peanut consumption in at-risk infants persists after a one-year period of avoiding peanut. The results were published March 4 in The New England Journal of Medicine

“This study offers reassurance that eating peanut-containing foods as part of a normal diet — with occasional periods of time without peanut — will be a safe practice for most children following successful tolerance therapy,” says Dr. Nepom.


The LEAP study manuscript was selected by The New England Journal of Medicine as one of the most notable articles of 2015. ITN’s LEAP and HALT-MS studies were chosen as two of 15 highlighted research advances for 2015 by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). In HALT-MS, 25 individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) received high-dose immunosuppression followed by an autologous stem cell transplant to potentially reset their immune systems in a noninflammatory manner. At three years, 80 percent of participants showed sustained remission despite not being on other MS therapies.

News & Views

March 8, 2016

Like What You Read?

Stay informed! Be sure you receive regular research updates. Subscribe

Join the Conversation

This blog does not  provide medical advice, nor is it a substitute
for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. 

Every story builds and strengthens our community. Whether you are living with a disease or care about someone affected by these diseases, tell us about it.

Share Your Story

Participating in medical research is a generous act essential to improving the care, treatment and understanding of disease.


Every gift is important and helps our scientists pursue lifesaving breakthroughs.